Flash floods overwhelmed parts of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey on Wednesday night, as the remnants of Hurricane Ida dumped historic rainfall across the region.
At least 26 deaths were reported as of Thursday morning in the three states. At least eight people died in flooded New York City basements, city officials said, with another death in a vehicle accident. The city of Elizabeth, N.J., reported five people dead in an apartment complex. And officials in Pennsylvania reported three fatalities in suburban Montgomery County.
In New York City, transportation ground to a halt. Cars on city streets faced floodwaters up to their windshields. Subway cars were trapped in tunnels and taking on water as passengers were forced to evacuate.
Hundreds of thousands of people lost power across the Northeast region, especially in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Northern New Jersey faced severe flooding, as tornadoes hit the southern part of the state. A tornado reportedly destroyed at least nine homes in Mullica Hill, N.J., south of Philadelphia. Southeastern Pennsylvania was similarly inundated, with Philadelphia's Center City neighborhood facing severe flood conditions as the Schuylkill River overflowed.
Parts of Connecticut and Massachusetts also faced significant flooding.
Extreme weather events are becoming more common due to human-caused climate change. Warmer air can hold more moisture, leading to wetter storms and increasingly intense flash floods. Hurricane Ida already caused multiple deaths when it slammed into Louisiana and Mississippi, and the storm's remnants also drenched the Middle Tennessee region, which had seen over 20 deaths last month in earlier flash floods.
The threat of additional hurricanes looms for the East Coast this year. Larry became a Category 1 hurricane on Thursday morning as it drives west across the eastern Atlantic Ocean, and it is forecast to strengthen even more on Friday. It’s still too early to determine where, or if, it will hit the U.S. mainland.
More photos from the storm:
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